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Standing In The Colour Celebrates Family, Maturity With ‘Singularity’

Kate Green
Standing In The Colour

Shortly before the Wichita-based band Standing in the Colour began writing its new record, Singularity, guitarist Ryan Green left the band. Green and his brother Mark had created a distinct sound with their playing. According to drummer Mike Gangwere, Mark Green was more than up to the challenge of creating a single guitar sound that could stand up to the old twin guitar attack.

“Going from a four-piece to a three-piece you tend to lose some effects or extra sounds that the guitars make,” the drummer says. “There was a little bit lacking in that area [after Ryan left], so it kind of pushed Mark to come up with new ways to fill that sound.”

The band dealt with the changes quickly and mostly without incident. That’s something that Mark Green attributes to the family ties he shares with Gangwere and his wife, Erin. If you’re having a hard time following, Green can explain it a little more succinctly.

“Erin is my sister, and Mike is my brother-in-law,” he says. “They are married. It’s a brother, a sister, and then a spouse. So that makes it better, I think, just because we communicate a little better. We’re not going anywhere. There's not attitudes. It’s a nice dynamic being a family band. Easy to work with.”

Credit Kate Green
From Left to Right :Erin Gangwere, Mark Green and Mike Gangwere. Not pictured: Sibling/former bandmate Ryan Green.

Sister, wife, and bassist Erin Gangwere couldn’t agree more.

“My brother and I are really good friends, and we’ve always been friends in music. We’ve always gone to shows together,” she says. “Same with Mike and I. I joke around that that’s our love language, going to shows and listening to music. So it’s good in the fact that you know you’re never going to hurt each other’s feelings enough to break the band up. Like you can say what you really think. But then, at the same time, you really don’t want to hurt their feelings because you love ‘em in a different way than you love most people. But sometimes you don’t have to say those things because you’re so connected in your heart and your soul that you get each other. Mike and Mark, especially. I know that they’re not related, but they have a language where sometimes they don’t even have to talk. I’m, like, lagging behind, saying, ‘Where are you at?’ I think it’s pretty special. I don’t think all siblings could do that. Or married couples.”

She adds, “Sometimes it gets a little grumpy, and sometimes you hurt each other’s feelings. But it’s cool that you know it’ll never break down like I think friendships or other bands, where you’re not family, could.”

Changes in the band’s personnel weren’t the only changes that the Gangweres and Green had on their minds when they made Singularity. They were also aware that they were getting older. Something evident on the album’s first single, “Twenty-Five.”

“That’s about that time in your life when you are 25,” Mike Gangwere says, “when you’re maybe out of school or trying to figure out your career. Maybe you want to move. It’s about getting out of one place and moving to the next. Being 25. That’s an awesome age to be. It’s good a time in all of our lives to look back on.”

Erin Gangwere says that thoughts about life’s changes bled over into other songs on the album, giving the record a sense of thematic unity.

“This idea of all these things that you’re surrounded by and influenced by coming together, breaking apart, coming together again,” she points out. “You grow from change, you grow from pain, you grow from loss or … just growing up. It was this idea of all these things that come together and become this singular point that you are for one second and then all of a sudden you’re changing again. So that’s kind of the concept behind the record and the art for the record.”

The artwork that graces the album’s sleeve came from Mike Gangwere. “I do graphic design for a living fulltime so I was in charge of all of the artwork for the last record,” he says, “and this one. I tried to make it look like how the music sounds now. We really went into this one with more of an aggressive attitude. We wanted to make it heavier.”

Standing in the Colour celebrates the release of Singularity Saturday night at Barleycorn’s.


Jedd Beaudoin is the host of Strange Currency. Follow him on Twitter @JeddBeaudoin.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.


Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.